The value our society puts on realism is quite high. A down-to-earth state of mind gets praised. Yet, what if the thing we actually need is idealism?
Idealism gets painted as a bad thing, as if envisioning large things will keep them from ever coming to pass. We are quick to brush off the idealists, forgetting what they really are: visionaries.
Yes, the pragmatism found among realists is needed. Even so, the power of practical action is not strongest when rooted in realism. It is strongest when it is partnered with the visionary nature of an idealist.
Idealists see the future ahead of them in a different way, and it is exactly that which makes them dangerous to the status quo. When you see a better way ahead, what would make you want to let things stay the same?
If we want to see the world change for the better, we need to unleash idealism. We have already drilled down on the importance of pragmatism – now it is time to partner that practicality with the visionary.
Lack vision, and you’ll let go of motivation. If you only see the next hard hill to climb in front of you, gathering the strength to finish will be difficult. If you see the destination, it’ll be easier. Being able to envision the future you want will allow you to accomplish the actions that need to happen now.
I envision slavery being completely abolished. That motivates me to fund anti-trafficking organizations, participate in things like Dressember, and strive to make ethical choices.
I envision a future without animal cruelty. That motivates me to be a vegetarian, to invest in products that aren’t tested on animals, and to volunteer my time at a local animal shelter.
I envision a future where the Gospel reaches every human and corner of this earth. That motivates me to partner with missionaries, dive deep into the Church, and to walk out Scripture.
What’s your passion? What’s your ideal future? What can you do NOW to practically reach that vision? We don’t need less idealism, we need MORE.
Go ahead, be an idealist. We need you.